This is the second in a series of articles regarding the General Obligation Bond issue that the Village is putting forward to the voters on September 13, 2016.
As we all know, the Village infrastructure-the wastewater treatment plant, water wells/piping, and roads-is aging and, in many places, visibly deteriorating. This situation is not unique to Angel Fire but is a recurring story across America.
The Village annual budget is not sufficient to undertake the required infrastructure rebuilding and repairs. Additional funding is required. My staff and I consulted with RBC Capital Markets in Albuquerque to explore options. While the Village has received slightly more than $1M in grant/loan packages for our water/wastewater system from the state in the past eight months, the reality is that we cannot borrow the required amounts needed to fund the entire project. We have to enter the bond market.
The Village proposes a General Obligation bond election be held on September 13, 2016 to raise the funds required and take advantage of historically low interest rates. Funds raised would be used to hire HDR, the Village consulting engineering company, to prioritize needs, design and supervise the repair/rebuilding program. The Village would hire a construction firm to do the actual work. Village Public Works staff would continue to repair and maintain the remaining roads and water systems.
The initial phase of the proposed program is for three years and $4.5 million. There will be another election in three years to renew the program and issue a further $4.5 million with no increase in taxes. This pattern of elections will occur every 3 years until the project is complete. If the voters disapprove at any election point, the program will end and taxes will revert back to current tax levels. The entire program is expected to total over $30 million and will take about twenty years to complete.
This chart will help residents determine what the bond passage will mean to them.
By state law, a special bond election must be conducted as a single-issue election, thus it cannot be joined with any other election such as the upcoming presidential election. The bond election date of September 13, 2016 was chosen because the next available date would be spring 2017. If the election were to be put off until then, any work on the infrastructure would be delayed until spring 2018, the loss of an entire year. Failure to pass the bond this year will delay any significant improvement in water, wastewater and road infrastructure for at least two years
The Special Bond issue proposal is broken down into two questions on the ballot: “Shall the Village of Angel Fire issue up to $3 million of general obligation bonds…for the purpose of …improving municipal streets and roads;” and…”Shall the Village of Angel Fire issue up to $1.5 million of GO bonds…for the purpose of…improving the Village’s water and wastewater system… ”
Although voters will vote on each question as required by law, it will be impossible to complete the program without both options passing.
This bond election will be via mail. Ballots will be sent to each voter registered in Angel Fire as well as residents of Colfax County who are registered to vote in the County and own property within Angel Fire Village. The last day to for Angel Fire residents to register to vote is Tuesday, August 16th; residents of the County should consult with Terry Cordova, Village Clerk, regarding registration requirements.
We have drawn up an official White Paper that explains the bond proposal in more detail. It can be found on the Village website at www.angelfirenm.gov or you can pick up a brochure at Village Hall.
Thank you for your support,
Mayor – Village of Angel Fire
GO BOND ELECTION COMMUNITY FORUMS
Last of three (3) Community Forums held on the GO Bond Election:
When: Monday, August 29, 2016 at 5:30 pm
Where: Angel Fire Village Hall
These forums are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.
For more information about the forums or the election please call 575-377-3232 x122 or x111.